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Tatiana Schatten

Journey Beneath a Wreath of Trees

Not based on true events

Tucked deep within the woods and surrounded by the immense trunks of the ancient and powerful pines which ruled that land, one could easily become helplessly lost in the maze of wonders beneath those boughs. A toadstool here, a fallen branch there, and yet again a toadstool here and a branch there;everything may swirl about you in a pixie dance, and only those take in every detail may break through.

That is why they were all strung together with a web-like cord of brown. They are the tiny twinflowers trailing in modest simplicity beneath the giants of trees. Yes, indeed, these siblings were all roped fast together and remained so through all their trek in the forest. No marching feet did they have as they weaved along whichever which way through the emerald light. Day after day they wound in and out, out and in, until finally only one object succeeded in halting their advance. 

It was a large, round pompous stone, so determined to arrest their movement that it would not even roll aside ( very few rocks can anyways) to allow them to pass. Only then did the leader of the chain, the youngest sprout of all, lift up one of its delicate bell-shaped heads to the barricade. Nay, it could not stop them! A suspenseful day and a night passed, and then another day and night, and yet another day and night, yet the flowers had not passed. The victory over the little green and pink ones were at hand, the march had ended. But wait! What is this? On the far side of the stone, a tiny verdant spike protruded over the moss, and as the day went on it grew. 

Finally, two blooms appeared  dangling over the moss top, and there, as spidery as ever, was a new twinflower. Thus, with the stone behind, the line continued their journey, and, as might be expected, reached the end of their rope.

Twinflower
Linnaea borealis

The visible  flowers of this beautiful trailing plant are connected by a tough root hidden underground. Growing to a length of two feet, these plants bear bell-shaped flowers of a pale pink hue on a thin, upright stem. They are very short, so to find them, you must do a little nosing just above the moss. They are fed upon by deer and grouse.

A Close Encounter

Based on true events

Little Chippy Essy, a Lesser Chipmunk, had only just found a new, lush and safe feeding ground. He looked eagerly forward to visiting this minute place of security once more, to taste the sweetness of sunflower seeds and feel the millet beneath his clinging paws. Also a feeder was there which hung from a lofty lattice, filled to the brim with sunflower seeds. There was no need then to sift through the other seeds to find his favourite kind.

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A Memory

Based on true events

There is a field of light somewhere in this world where the flowers are but jewels in the glowing grasses. It is like a memory, sweet, yet distant and faded as if a slight mist hung over it. I do not know where this serene plain is, so I can not direct you to its loveliness, but yet I may tell you this: I was there once, and beheld in that tranquility, among the luminous rippling grasses, a beauty which man cannot create.

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Stilts, Part 4

Based on true events

As similar as a bug and an insect might seem,they are actually two different kinds of creatures. For one thing, a bug has an X pattern on its back made by its folded wings which is absent in insects. Most insects are also missing the piercing mouth-parts of bugs through which they feed. But a bug’s mouth has nothing to do with this bug’s tale so I will say no more on that subject. 

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Stilts, Part 3

Across the hot plains of Sudan, the Black Rhinoceros and her child continued their journey in search of water. The calf had asked his mother why Giraffes, and Western Tessebes walked on stilts, and she answered readily after a moment of thought. But he had also queried about the stilts belonging to Mantids and Secretary Bird, and received as answer: “ You may ask the owners of the stilts.” The young one took her advice and asked a Praying Mantis why his legs were stilts. To the calf’s surprise, he was not told the answer but was shown it! The first pair were for hunting! But now the little rhinoceros was on the look out for a Secretary Bird who could explain his scaly, tall legs. There was, unfortunately, no sign of such a raptor for the remainder of their journey until the rhinos reached the Chari river. Feeling a mite discouraged and a mighty bit thirsty and hot, the calf lowered his head to drink.

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